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Curbed Cup Final Four: (1) San Pedro vs. (12) downtown Long Beach

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Which neighborhood should advance? Vote now!

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!

(1) San Pedro

The Final Four round of the Curbed Cup kicks off today with two old neighborhoods on the cusp of change. The first seed, San Pedro, is overflowing with charm. There’s a an idyllic park on the bluffs from which you can take in panoramic views of Catalina Island. There’s a quaint downtown, a must-visit fish market, an historic theater, a photogenic bridge, a flourishing beer scene, and a year-round marketplace for locally-crafted goods.

This year, San Pedro’s lovely Hey Rookie swimming pool reopened after a makeover; the Growlers brought their two-day music festival to town; and Metro introduced bike-share to the Battleship IOWA, the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Wilmington Waterfront Park, and the Ports O’ Call Village.

Though the town is slowly shedding its reputation as a blue-collar maritime town, many of the changes are happening right on the waterfront—namely a $100-million redevelopment of the kitschy Ports O’Call Village, set to get underway soon.

As one nominator wrote: “Imagine how big a hit San Pedro will be when visitors are at the waterfront enjoying their day and watching cargo ships sailing into the bay. San Pedro is a rising star in Los Angeles.”

(12) Downtown Long Beach

Downtown Long Beach.

The past few years have been busy for downtown Long Beach, where well over a dozen new developments are now in the works.

Among the highlights: an enormous entertainment complex planned beside the Queen Mary, a total overhaul of the city’s civic center, a pair of mixed use developments with nearly 1,000 units of housing for students between them, and an apartment tower set to be the largest building in town.

But Long Beach’s downtown already has plenty to offer beyond the expected amenities for convention center guests. There’s an eclectic mix of residential architecture, from modern to moderne; there’s a growing list of quality restaurants (most of which don’t serve recycled Popeye’s chicken tenders); there’s easy access to the beach; and the area is plenty walkable.

Now if only the Blue Line could arrive on time.